The Manglares de Tumbes National Sanctuary, a half hour north of Tumbes, gives travelers access to 200 species of birds, rare mammals (such as the crab-eating raccoon and the neo-tropical otter) and over 40 varieties of plants. As of yet, this constitutes one of the less-discovered treasures of northern Peru, popular with tourists, but not so that it is overcrowded or spoiled.
The most verdant time to go is from April to November; from December to March much of the Manglares wetlands dries up, and becomes a rich opportunity for harvesting shellfish. Permission to enter this park must be obtained from the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) in Tumbes (Av. TarapacÃ¡ 427, in front of the stadium. Tel: 526-489). It is easier to go on tour to this reserve, as the agency takes care of the permit. Getting there by either bus or taxi is very inexpensive. You can only enter the reserve from 1-5 p.m.
Price Description: ADMISSION: $3.80 adults, $1.90 students, $1.15 children